48 Hours In London

Above: Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, London, UK (Photo: S.Borisov/Shutterstock)

The UK’s capital city is famous all around the world for its history, culture, people, food, and traditions; there are so many factors that set London apart from any other city and ensure that it stays at the top of everyone’s destinations list. Home to Buckingham Palace and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Houses of Parliament, Saville Row, the Square Mile and Wembley Stadium, there are so many things to do when in London, but so little time to do them in.

What to see

Possibly the “must see” on any visitor to Europe’s list is the legendary Buckingham Palace, the official home of Queen Elizabeth II. The Palace was first built in 1705 but has been extended and modified since, and is now open to the public for 60 days of the year, but the famous Queen’s Guard in their red coats and black bearskin hats are always around. The Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) is also on the list too, functioning as the home of democracy since its rebuilding in 1840. It is impossible to miss Big Ben, the symbol of Britain synonymous worldwide, listen to its chimes echo as the clock’s minute hand strikes 12. For something a little more modern, the newly built Shard building, Europe’s tallest building is made mainly of glass. The View from the Shard top-floor viewing deck allows guests to gaze out across the whole of London.

What to eat

London is famous for its unbelievably expensive restaurants such as the Ritz, but to get a real taste of London there are really only two dishes that should be sampled, pie and mash from one of the pie and mash shops, or Britain’s national dish fish and chips. Arguably the world’s first fast food was that of pie and mash, and where better to sample this than at the Grade 2 listed L. Manze eel, pie and mash shop, which was founded in 1929 and has not been modified since. Fish and chip shops can be found all across London, with each shop serving the freshly bought food in the day’s newspaper. Foodies will feel right at home in London.

What to do

There are so many things to do when in London, way too many to list, however a visit to the infamous Tower of London is a definite must. Officially known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, the building has been used to imprison Monarchs, to execute dissidents and is currently used to house the Crown Jewels and many State Crowns that Britain’s Monarchs have worn since the 1600s. The famous Yeomen Warders, more commonly known as Beefeaters stand guarding the Tower and its jewels inside.

Where to shop

Shopping is a national pastime in the United Kingdom, with London being home to some of the world’s most famous shops and shopping streets. Harrods and Harvey Nichols department stores may be expensive, but it is definitely something to brag about back home. The shopping streets of Regent Street and Oxford Street play host to the world’s best loved and most expensive brands including men’s tailors Charles Tyrwhitt and John Lewis. Expect hours to just fly by as you wander around the thousands of shops in London.

To find out more about why you should visit London, visit www.visitlondon.com now!

Tags: London, Travel Guide

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